You know, it seems like for anybody who isn’t really, really young, there’s always going to be this feeling of “I am too old, and I wish I had done this at a younger age.” No matter what.
And I don’t think there’s really any way to completely get rid of this feeling.
It’s partly true, it’s partly real, and partly it is completely unnecessary.
So the real part is that youth is possibly the greatest thing that we can possibly have.
It’s the greatest wealth we can have.
Because time is the true wealth.
It is the true most precious thing that we can have.
If we can think of it as something to have at all, time is the most valuable thing.
And being younger, we have a potential to have more time ahead of us.
We have more potential to do more things in life.
So it is better to be younger, and there’s no way to sugarcoat that, really.
Just as the poor can look at the rich and think “Ah, that would be nice”, the old can look at the young and think “Ah, that would be nice”.
So that’s always going to be true, and I think people that are not perfectly young will have to simply learn how to live with that.
But where it becomes unnecessary is kind of imagining- this way of sort of retroactively looking back on life and imagining “I wish I had done different things”, or “I wish I was younger now”.
I mean, it’s very easy to imagine “I wish, knowing what I know now, that I could then go back.” Wouldn’t that be amazing, if I had the level of wisdom and judgment, relatively, that I have now, and to be able to go back into my younger days, and all the times where I made questionable, if not downright terrible, decisions, if I could then live them with this new wisdom, and live better.
In fact, I could really be a superhero, it seems.
You’d be a superhero if you could take the wisdom of somebody with many years behind them and then go back and relive young years once again with that.
It seems where things go off is just even imagining that idea is off, imagining that that is even possible.
It’s like this idea of wanting to make life efficient.
It’s like “OK, I want to maximize what I can get out of each year, and so now, looking back, I can see oh, I wasted time.
I was not fully efficient.
So now I wish I could get a do-over and start it again, and now I’ll just start making good decision, good decision, good decision, and just pack them all in, and, you know, live my life to the best that I can.” And yet, this is projecting the way I am now onto the way I was back then.
It’s like this idea that I could somehow do things differently, taking what I know now and imagining that I am this person now, taking that person into the past.
Well, really, this is getting into very questionable fantasy.
Because how did I become this person that I am? It was going through all that time.
And that’s the advantage of not being young, such as there is.
When you’re not young, when you’ve had years of experience, then those years of experience help to form your character.
And then, of course, you can then look back and think “I wish I had learned those lessons in a much shorter time.
It really seemed to take me too many years to learn those simple lessons.” And you look at other people that, you know, it’s maybe they were able to learn certain things at a much younger age than you, and get ahead in some way, so then you can look back and think “Ah, you know, if only I’d sorted out this at that age.
Well, you know, if I learned how to treat people better, and learned how to be good with money, and learned, you know, what kind of career, and the correct path for me: if I learned all that in my teenage years, maybe my 20s even, then, you know, everything would be going a lot more smoothly.” So this is simply not possible, because everything that happened to us is the way it is because of who we were then, and the things that happened then. […]
I find it helpful to remember that I couldn’t even be what I am now without those years.
As inefficient as it’s been, as much as I could imagine yes, it could have been possible, in some possible imaginary world, that things could have been different, and I could have had a completely different life that went at a more efficient pace, where I got more success and more wisdom at an earlier age: it’s possible to imagine that, and yet that’s not my life.
So it seems like it’s a big part of accepting ourselves for who we are, is just that “Yeah, I am what I am, and it took me all these years to get here.
I’d love to have more years, but on the other hand, if I didn’t have those years, I would not even be in this position to even be imagining this.” So it seems like there’s a lot more to say on this topic, and I want to think more about what this really means, to be to accept being at the age we are, and sort of accept our past as part of ourselves.
I’d be curious to hear your perspective on this.
#acceptyourself #acceptyourpast #cantchangethepast